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Thread: Water Heater Connectors Leaking

  1. #16
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The usual result of heating water with a PRV but without an expansion tank is the T/P valve on the tank will open and release the excess pressure. That's what it is supposed to do to keep the water heater from blowing up. Literally and big time blow up. So yes, you need an expansion tank.

  2. #17
    DIY Junior Member jasonbaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    A PRV acts like a one-way valve. WHen you use a lot of hot water, then heat it, it expands. This will raise the internal house water pressure until you use a little, or it leaks out because of the higher pressure. A closed system like yours needs an expansion tank or you are stressing things. The Watts site has a calculator to determine the size needed. It uses the incoming water temp, the tank setting, and the size, along with how many feet of pipe.
    Ah, thank you for explaining that in depth now I think I understand I went and touched the copper and sure enough the cold water line was warm to the touch and after I released some hot water from the pressure relief valve (T/P valve? I don't know these acronyms yet), immediately after the copper was cool to the touch so I see how its causing pressure build up to my house line.

    Also thank you Gary for your info, and as I said before the T/P valve has not released any water on its own but I read on another post it takes 150 degrees I think it was your post actually so I understand now why it hasn't released.

    Expansion tank here i come , for now should I lower the water pressure to around 50psi or just leave it I'm worried I don't want my new heater to blow up.

  3. #18
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    Its a Pressure Reducing Valve, not Relief two different things. How about just scrap the flex lines and use some copper and fittings.

    A T&P valve is normally set to release at 150 psi or 210 degrees F.
    Last edited by Jerome2877; 11-15-2010 at 04:38 PM.

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member jasonbaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome2877 View Post
    Its a Pressure Reducing Valve, not Relief two different things. How about just scrap the flex lines and use some copper and fittings.
    Hey, oh ok well I wasnt sure I have been looking up these acrynoms as you guys use them, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressure_relief_valve
    "A pressure relief valve is a safety device that relieves overpressure in a vessel or piping. "

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressure_regulator
    "A pressure regulator is a valve that automatically cuts off the flow of a liquid or gas at a certain pressure"

    I also see Water pressure reduction but there's no info just shows the name.

    Thanks and I think I am using copper lines and been trying to use new copper lines so im not sure what youre reffering to.
    Last edited by jasonbaur; 11-15-2010 at 04:40 PM.

  5. #20
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Jerome,
    He's in California. It has to be flex because he's in earthquake country. That's why I like to know where you guys are. It makes a difference as to how the question is answered.

  6. #21
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    I talking about hard copper with fittings soldered rather than the flex lines.

  7. #22
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Yes, and you can't do that in California.

    Where do you live?
    The codes are very different on the West Coast.

  8. #23
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    ok fair enough. Interesting though as I'm on Vancouver Island (also earthquake country) and most HWT's are hard piped. We do require earthquake strapping but not flex connecters.

  9. #24
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Different country. I live a little South in the Seattle area.
    Mexico to the South has no codes to speak of, and Vancouver Island dumps their raw sewage into the straits of Juan De Fuca.
    Here in Washington State, we have sewage treatment plants.
    Is that why the octopus get so large off of Vancouver Island?

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/108980_octopus17.shtml
    Last edited by Terry; 11-15-2010 at 04:52 PM.

  10. #25
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    Thats Victioria that dumps raw sewage and we are finally going to install a treatment plant, its just being aproved now. It is a bit embarrassing that a place thats supposed to be green still dumps raw sewage though!

  11. #26
    DIY Junior Member jasonbaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome2877 View Post
    I talking about hard copper with fittings soldered rather than the flex lines.
    Ah ok I see, yea I am from california.

    Well I guess for now I will lower my PSI to 50 tomorrow untill I can get a expansion tank to be on the safe side. Thanks for everyones suggestions and info, I will keep you posted. Tomorrow I am going to a plumbing store hopefully they have some nice flex copper supply lines or braided whichever can do that crazy S shape.


  12. #27
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Going back a ways in this thread, I think there needs to be a clarification of terms. A PRV is a pressure regulator that is installed on the incoming water supply line. It might well be call a pressure reducer, because it is used when the water supply pressure is too high. A T/P valve or Temperature/Pressure valve is installed on the water heater either on the top or topside depending on the manufacturer. This is a safety device to protect the tank (and house) in case of a malfunction of temperature or pressure. Temperature and Pressure are related in that when water heats it expands and with no place for the expansion to go, the heater becomes something like a pressure cooker. The pressure can rise so much the tank will explode. The T/P is designed to trip and release this pressure if the temperature reached boiling or the pressure reaches 150 psi. Now this is old hat to most of us, but to a novice, the terms for and uses of these devices can be confusing. A thermal expansion tank should always be installed when a PRV is installed as this gives the expanded water a temporary place to go. Lowering the PRV setting will not prevent water expansion. Actually, 50 psi is plenty high enough pressure. That's what my PRV is set for. BTW, the expansion tank is air charged and the pressure should be the same as the PRV setting. If I'm not mistaken, they come preset at 45 psi (don't take that without checking) Use a tire gauge to check. These contain only a small volume of air, so use extreme caution when adding air. It would be very easy to rupture the diaphram.

  13. #28
    DIY Junior Member jasonbaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    Going back a ways in this thread, I think there needs to be a clarification of terms. A PRV is a pressure regulator that is installed on the incoming water supply line. It might well be call a pressure reducer, because it is used when the water supply pressure is too high. A T/P valve or Temperature/Pressure valve is installed on the water heater either on the top or topside depending on the manufacturer. This is a safety device to protect the tank (and house) in case of a malfunction of temperature or pressure. Temperature and Pressure are related in that when water heats it expands and with no place for the expansion to go, the heater becomes something like a pressure cooker. The pressure can rise so much the tank will explode. The T/P is designed to trip and release this pressure if the temperature reached boiling or the pressure reaches 150 psi. Now this is old hat to most of us, but to a novice, the terms for and uses of these devices can be confusing. A thermal expansion tank should always be installed when a PRV is installed as this gives the expanded water a temporary place to go. Lowering the PRV setting will not prevent water expansion. Actually, 50 psi is plenty high enough pressure. That's what my PRV is set for. BTW, the expansion tank is air charged and the pressure should be the same as the PRV setting. If I'm not mistaken, they come preset at 45 psi (don't take that without checking) Use a tire gauge to check. These contain only a small volume of air, so use extreme caution when adding air. It would be very easy to rupture the diaphram.
    Great info thanks, so yea I need the expansion tank as you all said but I have some questions. Firstly I lowered my PSI to 45 and lowered the thermostat on the heater to 100 degrees and its still climbing to around 100 psi within 30-40 minutes is that normal? Despite the fact I don't have the expansion tank yet how many gallons you figure is pushing through? I am thinking of getting the biggest size they have but I also saw a few videos on youtube of a plumber opening up some bad tanks and showing some really nasty water. I don't drink from my tap but honestly it was dark black water really horrific and I am not sure I want to risk having such a device if it that can happen, is there any other solutions or devices? If there is no other solution the other questions I have are does it have be mounted on a wall or hung from the ceiling and can I use flex line connector? I read all about the tanks and watched a few videos and frankly it seems that they can go bad real quick and have to be checked often or you end up with that nasty water I saw in the video really hoping for a long term solution.

  14. #29
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Most of us are using the 2.2 gallon expansion tanks. How come I don't get those yucky calls? We've been installing these things for years. It's a plumbing code thing. There are millions of these things installed. But sure, anything can go bad.

  15. #30
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    That pressure rise it the EXACT reason why you need an expansion tank. If you were to empty the WH, then fill it with cold water, and didn't use any while it reheated, the pressure would likely be considerably higher. The bigger the temperature difference between the incoming water and how much you have to heat and how hot you make it determines how much the pressure will rise.

    Now, if everything is static and the pressure rises, the PRV is bad, but throw in heating the water, and without somewhere to go, it WILL rise, regardless of the starting pressure or the incoming temp or how much you heat it.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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